A fellow and noted classical scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, England; he received his Master of Arts degree on 2 July 1574. Convert to Catholicism in 1575. Studied for the priesthood at the English College, Douai, France; ordained on 23 March 1577. He then studied at the English College, Rome, Italy where he became a leader of the English students. Returned to England on 1 August 1580 to minister to covert Catholics. On 9 November 1580 he was arrested in London for the crime of priesthood, and imprisoned in Marshalsea prison; he ministered to fellow prisoners, and converted many of them. In December 1580 he was transferred to the Tower of London where he was tortured on the rack and thrown out into the snow to recover. Queen Elizabeth offered to make him a bishop if he would renounce the Catholic Church; he refused. Convicted with several other priests on 20 November 1581 of treason for promoting Catholicism. Proto-martyr of the English College, Rome. One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Catholic Encyclopedia, by John B Wainewright
- Enciclopedia Católica
- For All The Saints, by Katherine Rabenstein
- New Catholic Dictionary
Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus! - Saint Ralph’s last words
- “Saint Ralph Sherwin“. Saints.SQPN.com. 8 April 2013. Web. 18 May 2013. <>